I was having dinner recently with a dear friend who is also writing and querying her work when she said something that gave me a much needed kick in the butt when it comes to querying. That I haven’t really tried hard enough.
Querying stinks. There is no way to sugar coat it. It’s a lot of work to put together each query we send out and most are met with a form response from the receiving agent — that’s if we get a response at all. It’s no wonder that new writers throw in the towel or take breaks from querying.
After she told me that, I spent most of Sunday going through Jeff Herman’s Book of Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents and put my order in for the latest edition of The Guide to Literary Agents. I added agents to my QueryTracker database and even sent off a handful of queries. I even studied my stats – I’ve flagged 242 agents to query on QueryTracker and have sent out only 150 queries.
Only. Yeah, that’s a lot. But, I have just shy of 100 more to go, and that’s just who I’ve flagged so far. Instead of moaning about the process, what if The One is waiting for me to email her, moaning about wanting a novel just like mine written by someone just like me.
Am I going to send all 100 out this week? Want to see my go cross-eyed and reduce myself to making the motorboat sound? No, instead I’ll set a goal to send out 10 queries a week.
Is she in there, The One? To be honest, the odds are greater that I’ll be struck by lightning while hitting it big in Vegas. But, I’ll never know unless I send that email.